Friday

26th May 2017

Youth unemployment tops EU summit agenda, again

  • This will be the last summit prepared by the Irish EU presidency before it hands over to Lithuania (Photo: Valentina Pop)

EU leaders gathering in Brussels on Thursday (27 June) for a two-day summit will again turn to measures aimed at helping young people to get jobs, as unemployment figures soar in southern countries.

The summit kicks off at 4.30pm local time with a meeting between leaders, trade unions and employers' associations, to hear what actions they are taking to boost youth employment.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The EU Nobel peace prize award: Part of the EU council staff is on strike during the summit (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Included in the talks is the umbrella association representing EU staff - some of whom are on strike against an agreement earlier this week to freeze their pay for two years.

The leaders will then hear from the head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. They are expected to try and pressure him into reaching a deal on the next seven-year budget, for which there is still no majority among MEPs.

A senior German official on Wednesday warned members of the European Parliament to "take responsibility" and approve the 2014-2020 budget, as a deal is a precondition for a €6 billion injection into the youth employment scheme agreed earlier this year.

"It's time now to agree on this budget. In the best scenario we will have a deal before the summit, else talks will continue in the coming days," the source said.

EU leaders will also meet with the head of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, and look at ways to increase the bank's lending capacity after it received a €10 billion capital increase earlier this year.

"We feel that they haven't used the money boost well enough, so we will be looking at new ways to increase risk sharing," an EU official told this website.

The European Commission has already drafted a paper on how the EIB could boost its lending powers.

Its loans are used mostly by small and medium enterprises, which could hire more young people if they get the money to fund expansion.

Under the most ambitious scenario, EIB lending could exceed €100 billion.

A top EU official meanwhile told journalists in Brussels not to expect this summit to "solve the youth unemployment problem," but insisted that it is part of a "broader strategy" aimed at getting the EU economy out of recession.

Leaders will then turn to eurozone architecture, focusing mostly on what has been achieved in the so-called banking union.

A deal was struck late on Wednesday between finance ministers to establish a mechanism for failing banks which would first hit bank shareholders and only as a last resort turn to the publicly-funded eurozone bailout fund (ESM).

Further steps along the road - such as the creation of a permanent euro-president as proposed by France and Germany, or forcing euro countries to pre-consult each other on major reforms - are likely to be deferred to the October and December summits, after German elections in September.

The summit is also likely to endorse the so-called country-specific economic polcy recommendations issued last month by the European Commission, despite criticism from the French and Hungarian leaders about the wording of their country reports.

Meanwhile, Croatia will be welcomed as the 28 member state at this summit, as the country is set to join the EU on 1 July.

At the same time, Serbia is set to start EU membership talks early next year, with EU leaders to confirm on Friday a decision to start drafting an EU negotiations mandate in autumn and then, provided the Serbian-Kosovo agreement is implemented properly, to kick off talks in January.

Parents of EU children win right to stay

Countries cannot automatically refuse residence to parents of EU children simply because the other parent could care for the minor, the EU's top court ruled on Wednesday.

News in Brief

  1. Malloch will not be US ambassador to the EU
  2. 'Significant' drop in EU migration to UK
  3. Bomb injures former Greek PM
  4. British PM to speak out on US terrorism leaks
  5. Tusk calls for 'values, not just interests' after Trump meeting
  6. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  7. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  8. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms